The Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard covers the Main Specialty and Treatment Function classifications used to support the national reporting and analysis of clinical workforce activity throughout the NHS, through data sets such as the Commissioning Data Sets (CDS).
Main Specialty is the Specialty within which a consultant is recognised or contracted to the organisation and it is aligned to Specialties recognised by the Royal Colleges and Faculties and the General Dental Council.
Treatment Function Codes (TFCs) are a division of clinical work based on main Specialties but also incorporating approved sub-specialties and treatment interests used by care professionals. TFCs are used in various national data sets, in particular the Commissioning Data Sets (CDS).
The National Specialty List Standard was introduced by DSCN 34/2002 in September 2003 as a replacement for Specialty and Specialty Function codes respectively. The ‘ISB0028 – National Specialty List’ information standard was last updated in 2012. The standard will be renamed ‘DCB0028 Treatment Function and Main Specialty Standard’ as part of the updated April 2020 Information Standards Notice (ISN) release.
The Main Specialty is the specialty within which the Consultant is recognised or contracted to the organisation. Main Specialties are normally aligned to the European Specialist Medical Qualifications Order 1995 and European Primary and Specialist Dental Qualifications Regulations 1998, in Anglicised form. Changes to the list are governed by the Health Care and Associated Professions statutory instrument.
Default/pseudo-main specialty codes to identify the work of non-consultant lead professionals such as midwives, nurses and other care professionals have also been included.
This is the specialised service within which the patient is treated. It includes most of the main Specialties and also approved sub-specialties, special interests and services provided by non-doctors and dentists.
Treatment Function Codes are used to record, report on, extract and flow activity undertaken, irrespective of the type of healthcare professional who performs it and are not restricted to consultants.
Primary aim of the Treatment Function Maintenance Group (TFMG)
To maintain the list of Treatment Functions, NHS Digital needs to obtain expert help from professionals working in relevant fields. The Treatment Function Maintenance Group (TFMG) was established in 01 December 2004 and performs the role of an Expert Reference Group with responsibility for considering and approving change requests, against the Treatment Function Eligibility Criteria.
The members of this group will work in healthcare capacities in trusts, relevant teams within NHS England and NHS Improvement, and specialist teams within NHS Digital itself – scondary care analysis, community and mental health, NHS Data Model and Dictionary and clinical informatics. The Data Standards Assurance Service (DSAS) will also attend meetings of the group in an advisory, but not voting, capacity.